How do I get my case started?
All cases in the Georgia Tax Tribunal are begun by filing a Petition.
How do I file a petition?
Please go to File a Petition.
Where can I find forms to file a Petition?
There is no specific form required for filing a Petition. Download a sample Petition, which you may also choose to use.
What is the filing fee?
There is no filing fee for a Small Claims Division case. For all other cases, the filing fee is $60. Checks should be made payable to the Georgia Tax Tribunal.
Do I have to have a lawyer to represent me?
Individuals may either represent themselves or be represented by an attorney. All other types of taxpayers (for example, corporations) must have legal counsel.
Nonresident attorneys who are not active members of the State Bar of Georgia may move for permission to appear before the Tax Tribunal as provided in the Tax Tribunal’s rules of practice and procedure.
In Small Claims Division cases accountants or other tax return preparers chosen by a taxpayer can accompany and appear with the taxpayer in order to provide factual information regarding positions taken on the taxpayer’s tax return(s), but they may not represent the taxpayer as an attorney.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of filing my case in the Small Claims Division?
Advantages: Assuming the jurisdictional limitations for Small Claims Division cases are met, a small claims case has the following advantages:
- There is no filing fee.
- The procedure is more informal and less extensive.
- An accountant may appear to explain facts for the taxpayer (but not to represent the taxpayer as a lawyer).
- Small claims cases generally are resolved more quickly than regular cases.
- There is no requirement for filing of a bond. (Note, however, a bond may be required by the Commissioner to stay collection efforts when the taxpayer is contesting a jeopardy assessment.)
Disadvantages: The major disadvantage for proceeding in the Small Claims Division is there is no appeal of the Tax Tribunal’s decision. The decision in a Small Claims Division case is final and binding on all parties. In addition, because Small Claims Division cases move more quickly and have less formal procedures, there may be less opportunity for discovery and development of a factual record.
How do I know if my case qualifies as a Small Claims Division case?
Generally, your case can proceed as a Small Claims Division case if you elect for the case to be treated as a Small Claims Division case and the amount in controversy meets the dollar limitations specified in the Rules of the Tax Tribunal.
Dollar limits for a Small Claims Division case vary depending on the type of tax in dispute.
- If you are disputing an income tax liability that is less than $15,000 (including principal and any penalties but excluding interest) you may elect to proceed under the small claims case procedures.
- If you are disputing a liability for taxes other than income taxes, and the amount of that liability is less than $50,000 (including principal and any penalties but excluding interest), you may elect to proceed under the small claims case procedures.
How long will my case take?
Although circumstances vary and the amount of time for specific cases will depend on the facts, the norm for cases in the Small Claims Division is that they will be set for trial within 180 days of filing the Petition with the decision generally rendered within 210 days of the filing. In cases which are not Small Claims Division cases, generally such cases will be tried within approximately 270 days of filing of the Petition, with the decision being rendered within 30 to 60 days thereafter.
What kind of cases does the Georgia Tax Tribunal handle?
The Georgia Tax Tribunal generally has jurisdiction over appeals of tax matters involving the Georgia Department of Revenue. This includes the jurisdiction to review decisions of the Department of Revenue with respect to Georgia income tax (both corporate and individual), Georgia sales and use tax, withholding taxes and certain other taxes. The Georgia Tax Tribunal may hear cases seeking review of final assessments and tax executions, as well as actions seeking refunds of taxes previously paid. The Georgia Tax Tribunal does not have jurisdiction over and cannot determine any issues involving federal income tax liabilities. If a taxpayer has a federal income tax issue, such matters should be addressed to the Internal Revenue Service or, if litigation is necessary, potentially in the U.S. Tax Court, the United States District Courts, or the Court of Claims.
Are there any types of Georgia tax matters which the Tax Tribunal does not have the authority to hear?
Yes, there are a number of exceptions to the Georgia Tax Tribunal’s jurisdiction. For example, the Georgia Tax Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to review county property tax (ad valorem) assessments of real or personal property. Taxpayers should not, therefore, file a petition with the Georgia Tax Tribunal if they are seeking to contest such an assessment.
Also, the Tax Tribunal only reviews final assessments. Proposed assessments issued by the Department of Revenue must be reviewed internally by the Department following the Department of Revenue procedures applicable to reviews of proposed assessments.
Can the Tax Tribunal hear a request for a payment plan regarding payment of taxes I owe?
No. Payment plans need to be worked out with the Department of Revenue.
Can the Tax Tribunal hear my request for an Offer in Compromise?
No. Requests for an Offer in Compromise must be submitted to the Department of Revenue.
What should I do if I have received a proposed assessment (as opposed to an Official Assessment)?
Protests of proposed assessments should not be filed with the Georgia Tax Tribunal. Rather, protests of proposed assessments must be filed with the Department of Revenue.
What are the advantages of filing a case with the Georgia Tax Tribunal as opposed to filing in the Superior Court?
The Georgia Tax Tribunal has concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts over most tax matters. The principal advantages of filing with the Georgia Tax Tribunal are:
- Lower (or in the case of Small Claims Division, no) filing fees.
- Experienced tax attorneys as judges.
- A streamlined process which should result in costs for attorneys and experts being less.
- Faster trial and resolution of the case.
- No requirement for filing of a bond or for any sort of security in connection with the filing of a Petition.
Why does the Tax Tribunal order an automatic remand to the Department of Revenue?
Many tax cases are triggered by computer-generated notices and are often tied to questions regarding the proper crediting of payments or proper reporting of amounts shown on forms or returns reported to the Department of Revenue. These matters can often be resolved quite promptly by the taxpayer consulting with the Department of Revenue.
Accordingly, the Tax Tribunal has adopted a standing order that automatically remands cases to the Revenue Department for up to 90 days to give the Department of Revenue an opportunity to address any such matters.
Note that either the taxpayer or the Department of Revenue can ask that the remand period be shortened and the case be returned to the Tax Tribunal for consideration.
How do I contact the Tax Tribunal?
Please see Contact Us.
Will I have a jury for my case?
There are no juries in Georgia Tax Tribunal cases. All tax cases in the Georgia Tax Tribunal are tried by a Judge.
Can I appeal a decision by the Tax Tribunal?
The decision in a case that is in the Small Claims Division is final and binding on all parties, so neither the taxpayer nor the Revenue Department can appeal. In all other cases either party may appeal the Tax Tribunal’s decision to the superior court of Fulton County.
I had a tax appeal pending before the Office of State Administrative Hearings prior to January 1, 2013. Will that case now be transferred to the Tax Tribunal?
No. Cases pending before the Office of State Administrative Hearings (“OSAH”) prior to January 1, 2013 cannot be transferred to the Tax Tribunal.
Prior to January 1, 2013, I filed a request with the Revenue Department for a hearing in a state tax dispute. Will that hearing now be held by the Tax Tribunal?
No. Hearings requested prior to January 1, 2013 in state tax disputes will not be held by the Tax Tribunal, although (depending on the issue) you may have the right to appeal to the Tax Tribunal later.
Where are trials held?
Trials of tax cases typically are held in Fulton County at the courtrooms of the Office of State Administrative Hearings, 225 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 400, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.
Where should I park while attending a hearing?
What is the nearest MARTA stop to the Tax Tribunal?
The nearest MARTA stop is the Peachtree Center Station.